Thomas Jeneby, M.D., a plastic surgeon who practices in San Antonio, Texas, tells The Aesthetic Channel that social media is the cheapest acquisition strategy in his practice.
“At the point of care, I’ll ask how did you hear about me and I’ll get Facebook, word of mouth, radio, online, stuff like that. I don’t do very much traditional media anymore,” says Dr. Jeneby, who presented on the topic in February 2018 at the American Med Spa Association’s AmSpa Show in Las Vegas.
Social media on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Snapchat are a focal part of Dr. Jeneby’s marketing. But each platform requires a different approach, because each social media platform, he says, yields different results.
“It seems like Facebook patients have the most money. They come in and pay quickly. Instagram and Snapchat are… not really ready yet, because a lot of them are young, but when they’re ready, they’re going to come to you,” Dr. Jeneby says. “A lot of my male patients are coming in from LinkedIn. On Twitter, most of my followers… are also men.”
As a result, Dr. Jeneby will hone his posts. He’ll post female plastic surgery videos on LinkedIn from time to time, but, generally, he’ll post something that will attract male social media viewers — a male abdominal sculpting or etching procedure, for example.
“Guys will immediately private message me on LinkedIn and say, hey, I want that,” Dr. Jeneby says.
“Women don’t send private messages on LinkedIn but they do on Facebook,” he says.
Dr. Jeneby says video is king on social media. Static images are going by the wayside, unless cosmetic surgeons offer a discount on a popular procedure, like a $99 Botox treatment, or something free, if — and only if — viewers like, share or comment on the post.
“When you offer something for something, you get more,” he says. “If you’re there just to market, your numbers are going to go down and your impressions are going to go down.”
Getting people on social media platforms, like Facebook, to “viral” your post is a big deal, he says. With new Facebook algorithms limiting posts to show up on a page’s top 25 friends can limit exposure. But if the physician’s practice entices people to comment, like or share, other people on their pages will see the post.
The offer is the hook, he says.
Social Media Dos and Don’ts
Dr. Jeneby, who has been using social media to cultivate practice business for years, says the business owner, or cosmetic physician, and two or three trusted people in the practice have to respond to Facebook and other posts, generally, within minutes.
“After we do a surgical video, I’m always looking throughout the day at the posts,” Dr. Jeneby says.
To make social media work, practices have to engage followers, friends, anyone who responds, quickly. People want to feel important, which is what happens when the doctor or staff respond fast. Dr. Jeneby says he’ll often respond to comments and questions between surgeries or when he has three or four minutes. For similar questions, he’ll copy and paste the answer: “Call me,” along with his phone number and website address.
Responding is necessary even if people ask questions that are in the post. Often they’ll look at the visuals and not read, so they’ll ask a question. It doesn’t matter that it’s right there in the post, answer anyway, Dr. Jeneby says.
Another do: Do social media, a lot. Dr. Jeneby’s practice posts five to seven videos a week on various platforms. Those videos are available on his practice webpage. When he’s doing surgery, someone else holds a “contraption,” which Dr. Jeneby says he made, that allows the person filming to have two phones in each hand. All the while, that person is broadcasting live to Twitter and Facebook from one hand, and Snapchat and Instagram from the other.
Plastic surgeons and others in the cosmetic specialty will get lots of trolls. Dr. Jeneby says don’t ban them from your pages, right away. Let them go on for a little bit, because those trolls and what they write can make “virality” go up — even if it’s negative. Practices should ban the trolls, however, after a few comments in most cases, which means those people will not be able to see the practice’s page, post or comments anymore.
Finally, even though cosmetic physicians pay staff and others to help you with social media activities in the practice, the physician still needs to oversee everything that’s being done.
“Don’t just set it and forget it,” Dr. Jeneby says.
Marketing Pros Weigh In
Angela Ostroff, a Manhattan Beach, Calif.-based social media consultant and founder of Bearly Marketing writes in an email to The Aesthetic Channel that social media is a must for cosmetic surgery practices.
“If you don’t engage in a professional social media marketing campaign this will negatively affect your revenue, because you can be guaranteed your competition is doing it,” Ostroff writes.
She recommends that practices start social media campaigns, focusing initially on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Other platforms can be added later.
“You’ll start will the most popular social media platforms…. These four social media ‘giants’ will work together to drive prospective new clients to your website to learn more about your services and book an appointment. They can also be used to engage and retain an existing client by keeping the conversation going and making them feel connected to your office and services,” Ostroff writes.
Connie Chi, founder of the branding agency The Chi Group, writes in an email to The Aesthetic Channel that a quick way to gain followers is to run contests, which give away something to the winner.
When it comes to social media success, creating content is valuable. “Before and after photos are always great, success stories are a plus and getting a real client's testimony is golden,” Chi writes.
“Physicians are busy so investing in something like Hootsuite where the content can be automatically posted and scheduled will help keep things moving forward,” Chi writes. “As [cosmetic physicians] build their followers, they can expect brands will reach out to them for co-branding opportunities and an increase in engagement.”
Kevin Tash, president and CEO of Tack Media, writes that one bullet-proof tip for a successful social media campaign is to use consistent hashtags.
“… grab 12 to 15 of the most common hashtags, three of your competitors are using, and keep relevant by always using those. Also use a branded hashtag with your company's name,” Tash writes in an email to The Aesthetic Channel.
Cosmetic practices should also plan ahead, scheduling their social media strategies one month in advance. To learn what works best for a particular practice, rotate social media messaging to address different aspects of an individual practice and see which performs best.
“Is it testimonials, before and after pictures, is it doctor's advice clips, or just plain tips on maintaining your appearance [that works for your practice]?” he asks.
Done right, social media campaigns should bring in a steady growth of followers and website referral traffic, more visibility and social validation, according to Tash.